If you’ve ever used two recent versions of Word on the same computer, you know doubt have encountered that infuriating dialog that tells you to wait while Word is configured. You use Word 2003 for a little while, and then you switch back to Word 2007, and you get the “Wait, while…” yet again–multiple times in the same session.
Until now, I thought that the only way for two versions of Word to peacefully coexist was if one of them always loaded using the /a switch. Among other things, this meant that the /a version would not be able to use any of your custom settings (except for Word 2007’s Quick Access Toolbar settings, which seem robust with respect to /a).
It can now be revealed, however, that there’s an easy registry solution that allow multiple versions of Word to exist, and for you to have your various customizations remain in play as well.
Caution: Edit your registry settings at your own risk. Incorrectly editing your registry can damage Word, Office, Windows, your community, the planet, and the universe. For additional information on how to edit your registry, consult Google. I’m assuming here that you know what you’re doing, and hence will give you only the bullet. It’s up to you to buy your own gun.
Note: Do not do this if you’re running just one version of Word! Otherwise, occasional and useful self-repairs won’t happen.
Now, for the juicy bits. You’ll need to add a NoRereg DWORD (32-bit) value to the Options section for each version of Word that you want to run. In Office 12, this value goes here:
After you create the NoRereg value, set it equal to 1. And you’re done!
Repeat this for each additional version of Word you plan to run. For Word 2003, for example, the place to add the NoRereg value would be in: